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Kayaking the Silver River September 28, 2014

Centrally located to Daytona Beach, Orlando and Ocala is the Silver River. With it's headwaters being the second largest spring in Florida, it's an absolute treasure. Today we had the privilege of paddling with the Minnesotans. We got to visit with Male and Female Anhingas, Little Blue Herons both in their 1st year white phase and in their adult blue phase. The Black Crowned Night Herons were stalking in the Duckweed for food, the White Ibis were rooting around on the banks and resting in the trees overhead. The Wood Ducks, Pileated Woodpeckers, Moorhens and Great Blue Herons also came out as if to say "welcome to our river". There are lots of fresh Apple Snail Eggs now and the Red-bellied and River Cooter Turtles were sunning on the logs in abundance. We got to see a few Alligators and they tried their hand at some stealthy Gator Photography... as seen here at Minnesota Gator Adventurers ...We got to see a Monkey along the way and that little bit of rain we had? It just made for a great paddle.

George and Mary shared these photos with us. Thanks You Two!

Kayaking Rock Springs Run August 14, 2014

The Summer is winding down and we got to see our first migratory Belted Kingfisher today. The Limpkins, Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons and White Ibis were all out feeding and the Red-bellied Turtles, River Cooter Turtles and big ol' Alligator were hanging out on the logs at the 40 ft hole. As we paddled on we tested the Muscadine Grapes hanging from the vines. They are ripe now and very tasty. We stopped for a bit at the sand bar for a cool off at the end of the tour and once again Rock Springs Run made for a great place and a great day on the river.  

Wen's Silver River tour July 7, 2014

Scarlet Hibiscus

Photo Op! There's lots of those on the Silver River ;-)

Red-bellied Turtle

Brown Water Snake and Resurrection Fern

beautiful Male Wood Duck

All Smiles!
That's what it's all about on the Silver River. It's hard to spend the day there and not find something to make you smile. This was Wen's first time kayaking and she did an awesome job! We're certainly glad she picked us to do it with too!!

Marshall's Rock Springs Run May 13, 2014

We got an early start this morning and were the first ones on the river.We could hear a Barred Owl as we paddled down and we stayed quiet hoping to see the Big Boy Gator that hangs out at the 40 ft hole. As we crept closer, there he was, it's an awesome site. We saw a Great Blue Heron, Limpkins, Swallow-tailed Kites and there are lots of Apple Snails Eggs on the vegetation. We also got to see several of the Turtles and a few other Gators were out sunning. It was a great morning paddle on the clear waters of Rock Springs Run.

Kayaking Blackwater Lake, Eustis, FL April 28, 2014

We put in on Blackwater Creek at sun up and with the morning light coming through the trees you could start to make out the ghost stumps of ancient Cypress Trees that were logged in years gone by. Coming out of the dark creek we could see the sun shining on the lake in all it's glory. We skirted the edge under the old Cypress in a dream like state and took a break to walk up the Sand hill to look for Gopher Tortoises among the Prickly Pear Cactus. The old homestead can still be seen there and the outskirts of the yard by the old barn is a nice place to have a picnic. As we headed back down the creek, mid morning with a lot more light shining through the trees, it looked like a completely different place. Worth getting up before daylight??? Anytime Baby ;-)!

Kayaking the back waters of Orlando April 5th, 2014

Clear water, good weather and great paddling buddies always makes for an awesome time on the river. The Spider Lilies are starting to come out now. The Convict Caterpillars are doing their thing and the Apple Snails are laying eggs like crazy. There is a good amount of fresh water Muscles, Clams and 3 Whirl Snails in the shallows which is a sign of clean waterways. We found 3 young Gators sunning together and came up on a young non-venomous Brown Water Snake sitting on a Spatterdock. He must have been resting from his long journey across the river. Trying to hide from the Hawks is no easy task and what a colorful sight he was. A picnic at the old cabin and the beautiful blue sky capped the day off nicely.